By Gethin Binns
Senator for the Class of 2017
At the end of this week, on the 20th of May, nomination papers for South Senate will be due. Why should you care? Indeed, if you did care, what of it? How do you even get these nomination papers in the first place!
Bear with me for a second and we’ll get into the meat of the argument for running here, but first, a brief moment devoted to the boring dates and details without which one would be painfully pantsless in the race. While that may tickle your fancy, I can assure you it does nothing for me.
As mentioned, nomination packets are due on the 20th of May to Mr. Rattendi, the head of the math department. There is then a meeting on the 25th that goes over fair and foul play on the campaign trail, and then the firing gun barks on the 26th and the fun begins.
Those cringe-worthy posters and random slogans you’ve concocted in your head as responses to the many others you’ve seen over the years adorning the hallways of our schools may now be let out in a veritable sunburst of creativity, the juice from which undoubtedly encroaching on every nook and cranny of the fine institution that is Newton South. From 3114, to the word-working shop, to the foreign language department office, there will be some manner of campaigning underway. This, in and of itself, is in my view worth the price of admission, which is 25 of your graduating classmates’ signatures, one from a teacher, one from your house officer, and a two hundred word statement declaring the reasons why you intend for running. The infamous speeches are due to Mr. Rattendi at midnight on the 5th of June, prior to their delivery on the 7th, and the elections on the 9th.
I can certify that despite whatever systemic issues may exist in Senate, that feeling of purpose never dies.
Now, with the necessaries dealt with, we enter into the altogether more holistic and not particularly concrete area of why you should put up with the initial bureaucracy. The price of entry is one thing– and if you’ve read my other piece on the Senate, then skepticism towards its efficacy may be a concern, and doubt as to whether or not it would be worthy of your Thursday J-blocks, too.
However. But. Yet. Even.
It’s more than that. I’ll spare you the dross about getting more actively involved in your community, and the obligatory oblique reference to the college transcript. To me, it’s very simple. What one gets out of it on an individual level and the impact that the individual commitment has lends a sense of concreteness, and reward for effort beyond the world of baffling numbers like GPA’s and SAT scores and weird qualitative measurements like English papers.
Some people get this out of clubs, and all power to them, but I feel as though Senate offers something more. By its nature as a schoolwide office, where one is representing one’s entire class, there is a unique motivation to do one’s best in making the best possible environment for that large a community to thrive in. I would argue that this is perhaps more rewarding than the smaller, but no doubt very valuable communities that clubs are.
For me, it gives me something else to do, something that answers the great existential question of “why are we here? ” I can’t speak for anyone else, and maybe they have their own reasons, but I can certify that despite whatever systemic issues may exist in Senate, that feeling of purpose never dies.
And so I would encourage you to run for Senate this year, and not to let my tardiness on this article stop you from doing so. I finished my papers on the last possible day last year, and look where I am now.
Get involved in your school. Get involved in your community, do something for your friends, try and make the school a better place. Get those nomination papers from your house office, and take a step towards developing the community you want to see in the world.